Bruce, Charles Tory
Charles Tory Bruce, poet, novelist (b at Port Shoreham, NS 11 May 1906; d at Toronto 19 Dec 1971). Bruce graduated from Mount Allison University in 1927, worked for 8 months as a reporter for the Halifax Chronicle, and then joined the Canadian Press. Over the next 35 years he became one of the country's most respected newsmen, and served as CP's general superintendent from 1945 until his retirement in 1963. News and the Southams, his history of the Southam newspaper company, appeared in 1968.
Bruce's first book of poems, Wild Apples, was privately published during his final university year, but he was then taken up by commercial houses, and there followed Tomorrow's Tide (1932), Personal Note (1941), Grey Ship Moving (1945), The Flowing Summer (1947) and The Mulgrave Road (1951). The latter won him the Governor General's Award and a wide readership. Bruce's best lyrics, which are about the Chedabucto Bay region where he was born and spent his boyhood, rely on simple, concrete imagery, display an original voice, and reveal his basic tenet that, in poetry, "the gleam of truth [is] glimpsed through lived experience."
In 1954, his only novel, The Channel Shore, was published. Its essential theme of time as "a continuing whole" is conveyed through its compelling characterization and memorable setting. His collection of linked short stories, The Township of Time (1959), traces various fictional bloodlines down through 160 years of Channel Shore settlement, emphasizing his firm belief in "continuity ... a sense of relationship to past generations, a feeling of kinship to generations still to come."